Windsor and Nottingham co-pitch

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I also ditched the Windsor copitch for these reasons. I prefer Nottingham only, also flavour wise. Nottingham is one of the most consistent strains I know and also extremely versatile and extremely easy to handle.

If your hops fade considerably during the first two months, you have problems with oxygen ingress.
That's a really good point. I've only recently switched from basically an open primary to a fermzilla. I've done several closed (or nearly closed) transfers, but keep up the old pace anyway. Maybe I've been operating on old data. I will try to let one of these bitters hang around for awhile and see what happens.
 
That's a really good point. I've only recently switched from basically an open primary to a fermzilla. I've done several closed (or nearly closed) transfers, but keep up the old pace anyway. Maybe I've been operating on old data. I will try to let one of these bitters hang around for awhile and see what happens.
Are you botteling? If so, have you tried to reduce the headspace to the bare minimum that the liquid needs to expand when temperature changes? It's about five millimeters. This simple practice was for me probably the biggest game changer since I've had my overall process dialed in. I now have American ipas that stay fresh for over two months in the bottle.
 
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Are you botteling? If so, have you tried to reduce the headspace to the bare minimum that the liquid needs to expand when temperature changes? It's about five millimeters. This simple practice was for me probably the biggest game changer since I've had my overall process dialed in. I now have American ipas that stay fresh for over two months in the bottle.
I do bottle some beers. I've not tried minimizing headspace, but have come up with a couple of reliable ways to cap on foam. I have no trouble with oxidation in bottles, that I've noticed. But I have never bottled a bitter, or even brewed an American ipa.

I'm a huge, hugefan of the quart ez-caps. Lots of utility for very little hassle and risk.
 
Windsor is very slow to clear and makes a soft, easily disturbed sediment. I prefer to bottle condition most of my beer and I have tended to avoid Windsor because it’s too much bother. I’ve met people who manage the process by cold crashing the primary before bottling, thus minimising yeast transfer. I accept that’s probably a workable solution, but I’m not desperate enough to use Windsor that I’m going there. I have other yeasts that enable a simpler process.
Nottingham is a yeast I have also generally avoided but for different reasons. I tried it a couple of times in the ‘90s and wasn’t impressed. It went on the list of unimpressive yeasts and stayed there for decades.
I have used it a few times in the last 3 years. I tried it in a co-pitch with Windsor because I read the strains were so compatible it seemed likely they may have evolved together in a multi strain yeast.
I used them together in a dark Mild, which did have a certain charm but I wasn’t inspired to repeat the exercise.
I’ve seen some speculation about the MJ M36 Liberty Bell product which it seems no one can match with a known strain. I’ve used M36 a couple of times. I was hopeful it would be satisfying in the role but I’m not really impressed enough to use it again. I could accept the idea it’s actually a blend of Windsor and Nottingham.
I have come around to the idea of using Nottingham more generally though.
I used it for a Barrel Aged Barleywine, and I’ve been quite impressed. Also used it for a barrel aged Old, and that has also performed well in competition. So for these relatively high gravity ales I think it’s a winner.
Recently tried Mangrove Jack’s M42 New World Strong Ale.
There seems to be a widespread view this is Nottingham repackaged.
Used it for a WCIPA. Satisfied with all aspects of performance bar clarity. Beer was quite heavily dry hopped (>8g/l) and haze seems very stable at 6 weeks.
Currently giving it a run in a BGA which will not be dry hopped. Beer is only 5 days into fermentation. I’m interested to see how quickly it clears. OG 1.049 and fermented at 17°, it seems to have settled down. I’m about to take a gravity sample, but I fully expect to see plenty yeast in suspension.
 
At just over 3 weeks since pitching, my bitter with Windsor/nottingham had been b fermented, casked, carbed, and cooled. I pulled a sample off the top after it got down to 50 degrees and it had changed from opaque brown to very hazy gold. Tastes fantastic, except for the slightest hint of yeast. No green flavors. With "normal" English strains I would expect it to have been clear for a while already, and ready to drink now or maybe in a week. So the fermentation proceeded as expected even though the slow clearing would indicate a major problem with the yeasts I'm used to. We'll see how much longer it takes.

Honestly, if the beer turns out better than the sample in another week or two, I could see trying Windsor again (I'm not sure the nottingham did anything) despite the slow motion clearing. I could work around it during the summer months, at least if I'm not bottling. Seems like the yeast is letting the malt and sugar and hops do the talking, but there's a soft nuttiness or woodiness there that is quite good, especially with the floral/herbal from golding dry hop.
 
At just over 3 weeks since pitching, my bitter with Windsor/nottingham had been b fermented, casked, carbed, and cooled. I pulled a sample off the top after it got down to 50 degrees and it had changed from opaque brown to very hazy gold. Tastes fantastic, except for the slightest hint of yeast. No green flavors. With "normal" English strains I would expect it to have been clear for a while already, and ready to drink now or maybe in a week. So the fermentation proceeded as expected even though the slow clearing would indicate a major problem with the yeasts I'm used to. We'll see how much longer it takes.

Honestly, if the beer turns out better than the sample in another week or two, I could see trying Windsor again (I'm not sure the nottingham did anything) despite the slow motion clearing. I could work around it during the summer months, at least if I'm not bottling. Seems like the yeast is letting the malt and sugar and hops do the talking, but there's a soft nuttiness or woodiness there that is quite good, especially with the floral/herbal from golding dry hop.
Nottingham very likely brought the gravity down quite a bit. Windsor on it's own is a notorious low attenuator. It can also start re-fermenting after falling a sleep for two or three weeks which Nottingham also takes care of. I personally wouldn't use Windsor on it's own again. But I prefer it to Lallemand London which has similar attenuation and clearing issus but does not bring as much yeast expression.
 
Nottingham very likely brought the gravity down quite a bit. Windsor on it's own is a notorious low attenuator. It can also start re-fermenting after falling a sleep for two or three weeks which Nottingham also takes care of. I personally wouldn't use Windsor on it's own again. But I prefer it to Lallemand London which has similar attenuation and clearing issus but does not bring as much yeast expression.

Noted. I forgot about the reports of Windsor coming back to life in the bottle. If I give it another shot, I will try the co-pitch again.
 
General question (not specifically for @Miraculix): given that Lallemand has discontinued London (for now) , what dry strains are a good alternative?
I've had really good experiences with 3g s04 in a 2 litre starter, stepped up once. It basically turns the dry yeast into liquid yeast. I've made a taste test blonde bitter with intentionally lower ibus and only base malt (mo) and it is marvellous. I'm planning to test this process with other yeasts as well (currently diamond lager fermenting, stepped up the same way). I bet that under these conditions, there are more dry English strains that are at least decend. I've heard good stuff about the brewly English dry strain as well, if you can source that one. I also like a decent Nottingham bitter. It's better with higher ibus and more hop aroma to compensate for the neutral-ish yeast, but it can still be very good.
 
I've had really good experiences with 3g s04 in a 2 litre starter, stepped up once. It basically turns the dry yeast into liquid yeast. I've made a taste test blonde bitter with intentionally lower ibus and only base malt (mo) and it is marvellous. I'm planning to test this process with other yeasts as well (currently diamond lager fermenting, stepped up the same way). I bet that under these conditions, there are more dry English strains that are at least decend. I've heard good stuff about the brewly English dry strain as well, if you can source that one. I also like a decent Nottingham bitter. It's better with higher ibus and more hop aroma to compensate for the neutral-ish yeast, but it can still be very good.

That's very interesting! Do you usually get the S-04 twang? What's different about the starter beer VS. Your normal results?
 
That's very interesting! Do you usually get the S-04 twang? What's different about the starter beer VS. Your normal results?
The last time I remember tasting that twang was probably over five years ago. It was also only in the green beer out of the fermenter, after bottling and a few weeks the twang was gone. But the yeast is supposed to have changed since then. With my newer batches I've never had that twang again.

I cannot tell the difference of the starter based beer vs. dry pitched pack beer with one hundred percent certainty, as I never made a direct side by side comparison. However, based on subjective perception, I find the starter beer to be somewhat cleaner but also with a bit more fruity-ish yeast expression, if that makes sense. It's a bit like the pleasant aspects have a boost and the unpleasant aspects are decreased. It also clears pretty well and the yeast really stays at the bottom of the bottle after clearing. Tightly packed sediment.
 
S-33 and M10, as well as Windsor and M15, are all very closely related, and any of them should be reasonably similar to the old Lallemand London, some perhaps a little more than others.

http://tinyurl.com/yeastmaster
Thanks. I didn't see M10 at MJs site. I'll put M15 on the "shopping list". The recipe is a clone recipe for a malty Brown Ale - and mashing low (149F) with London has been working well. Of S-33, Windsor, and London, London easily gave best results (so I won't go back to the others).
 
Thanks. I didn't see M10 at MJs site. I'll put M15 on the "shopping list". The recipe is a clone recipe for a malty Brown Ale - and mashing low (149F) with London has been working well. Of S-33, Windsor, and London, London easily gave best results (so I won't go back to the others).
I recently made an English Porter with M15 Empire Ale. At about the 24 hour mark, it was at 1.020, then just flatlined there. The beer itself is quite good. I am not sure how much my bias from knowing the high FG (and low ABV, 3.8% vs my 4.6% target) impact my tasting. It has good "English" yeast character, but might be a touch fuller and sweeter than my target. I have a couple bottles I am sending off to a competition. I mashed at 152F. I am debating about trying again with a lower mash temp (maybe some sugar?)...or just using S-04.
 
At about the 24 hour mark, it [M15] was at 1.020, then just flatlined there.
My early web searching on M15 suggested that this is a frequently reported problem. The stories lacked a fermentation temperature profile (constant 65F? start at 65 then raise to 70F on second day of active fermentation?, ...). There was also some speculation that M15 is a blend and the second strain can be a slow starter. I may have seen something similar with a 'one off (and rather shoddy)' London (2nd gen) / Nottingham (1st gen) co-pitch. Going forward, I may open (or restart) another topic to continue this side topic after I've done some more web searching and faux discussion with LLMs.
 
27 days since pitching and my bitter is very clear--not polished but very clear. it is a fine ale. The yeast character is definitely not neutral, but it is also not very forward. "Obviously but generically English" would be a good descriptor. Total time from pitch to drinking is not more than a week longer with the Nottingham/Windsor co-pitch than with S-04 (or a "real" English yeast), based on my one data point, despite the extended clearing time. Flavor is just fine, attenuation is moderate, and there is no hint of the tart biscuit dough that some of us get with S-04. I will definitely use this again, and when I do I will re-pitch it a few times to see what happens.
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